What is Flame? What is a Flame Artist? When I look on the Autodesk website it’s kinda hard to figure out what Flame Artists do. And why do After Effects artists and Nuke artists hate Flame Artists so much? All I ever hear is that Flame Artists cost a boatload of money and all they do is schmooz with clients and have fancy couches and drive nice cars.
Can anyone shed some light on this for me? Serious answers only.
Sounds like outdated notions based on the turn of the century post production world. I’m sure we’d all like the big money and fancy cars but i doubt the reality is still like that.
But then i have never worked at the high end of the post world and have never knowingly shmoozed…
Aren’t these strange flame people that compartment, fixing some ugly and cheap setups the AE only crew produced for some pennies? Even if they lost the pitch against them like 2 months ago, due to pennies being cheaper?
It’s the age-old topic, and still the same vagaries trying to define what it is that we do. Most importantly, the clients know, or think they know, what we do.
Re: why After Effects peeps and others “hate” us Flamers, well…. One of many such convos I’ve had was in 1999 when an AE guy said “Flame is dying. I’m sure glad I didn’t learn that.” My response was “I’m sure glad I’m not making $35 an hour.” It’s called “Envy.”
It also comes from cg people seeing flame artists do things like shrink the matte to “get rid of the black halo” while way out-earning them and getting brought sushi. Sure, the cg ppl don’t realize they’re lacking the soft skills to run a session, but I can see a little bit where they’re coming from.
Yeah. I think the market just kind of settles to match needs and wants. I know a lot of very talented AE peeps that I have tremendous respect for, and they simply do not want to run a client session, are terrified of clients, and don’t want to be the one holding the ball for delivery of everything. So peeps who want that kind of thing, they gravitate towards Flame. I think it’s a good balance of resources to needs.
Okay, here’s what Im up to with this. If you google “What is Flame” or “What is a Flame Artist,” besides seeing @AndyBrown eat pastries there isn’t really anything substantial and informative besides an 8 year old Reddit post with tons of outdated and crummy information.
We should have a Wikipedia-like reply that describes, roughy speaking, what a Flame Artist does. Perhaps a little of the history of Flame? Autodesk? Discreet?
I’ve never met a nuke artist that was hostile towards me when I told them I was a flame artist. I feel a little bit like that outward hostility comes mostly from very jaded and cynical vfx artists who don’t just hate flame, they just seem to hate… everything except nuke.
In regards to the pay disparity, I would love to see the folks being underpaid for the absolutely vital work they do to not be pissed that people doing something very similar, if not the same thing, are getting payed more, but to realize that they are being underpaid and band together and raise their rates collectively. It’s a whole community of people who are being exploited and have WAY more power at their fingertips than they realize, but are really scared to try to ask for more ( I don’t blame them, it’s messed up) and instead just write diatribes on reddit and get a thousand upvotes but nothing changes because turns out that’s not how real change is affected. That’s sad, because it’s people of immense talent doing incredible work and being treated like garbage a lot of the time.
But if we squabble amongst each other and sh*t on each other, that’s not solidarity. And it goes both ways, as someone mentioned above. This is a tough industry, a wicked, brutal, money is king industry, and that’s why I personally believe the only people it serves to squabble about what software you’re using to do the same thing but at a different pay rate are the people that make a lot of money from ALL of our efforts and off all our backs, not the artists.
I steal everything I can from the Nuke folks when it comes to comping. Just gotta remember that “subtract” in Nuke = “difference” in flame. And “from” in Nuke = “subtract” in flame. Or maybe the other way around??? Swap inputs and find out I suppose!
Is there value in having a largely un-google-able job? There are thousands of weird “in the know” jobs out there and I’d imagine they make more money relative to jobs one can google.
Anyone interested in hiring us will barf hard when they hear our rate if they aren’t already in the know. We are expensive compared to other comp who are expensive compared to other CG who are expensive compared to a guy who knows photoshop which is the only tangible corollary for someone not in the know.
“IT COSTS TWENTY THOUSAND DOLLARS FOR YOU TO PAINT OUT THE WEIRD KID IN MY DAUGHTERS DANCE VIDEO?!”
But we’re also not that expensive, we’re sort of cheaper than ever before. I can say this because I grew up in this world (dad’s a flame artist yada yada I’ve told this story before) but the top pay rate has barely inched up. What I aspire to make is what my dad made in 2000, and for reference $100,000 in 2000 is $72,000 in 2022. Someone who is not a flame artist but is benefiting from flame work is making more money than ever before and in 2000 someone was already making an obscene amount of money.
I mulled a couple of ideas then thought it sounded a lot like something Henry Mintzberg wrote; figurehead, leader, liaison, monitor, disseminator, spokesperson, entrepreneur, disturbance handler, resource allocator, and negotiator.
Also needs to have a good eye and some creativity. It also helps to think a few moves ahead like in chess. And have a laugh.